Democrats are hoping for an intramural brawl between Dino Rossi and Tea Party hopeful Clint Didier or ultraconservative state Sen. Don Benton (R-17).

The thinking is this: Rossi will be forced to go ultraconservative himself and end up turning off the mainstream voters he needs to ultimately win the general while simultaneously alienating the Tea Party base (he also needs) after duking it out with Palin-favorite Didier.

Wishful thinking. I believe the Tea Party will have the opposite effect and will actually help Rossi. Here's why:

Didier is going to make Rossi look good (moderate) to the mainstream public. Instead of alienating the GOP base, Rossi's scrap with Didier is going to attract moderate Democrats and Independents who want change, but not Krazy change.

Didier will make those important moderate voters feel comfortable with Rossi in time for the general.

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